The previously announced live-action Dora the Explorer movie has found its director and set a release date. Dora the Explorer first came to life on Nick Jr in 2000. Since then, the franchise has gone on to spawn a multi-billion dollar merchandise empire, including books, toys, and clothing, and spin-off shows galore. It’s hard to find a parent of any child born in the last 18 years who hasn’t spent some time watching the show, and also wondering how a small child and her pet monkey can be left unsupervised to go exploring.
That aside, the market for Dora is still huge; the little Latina girl and her monkey, Boots, have grown up, and Dora is now a ten-year old in Middle School. While many doubted the spinoff, titled Dora and Friends, could work, it seems as though she is a timeless classic, and while pre-schoolers are still happily enjoying the (many) reruns of Dora the Explorer, older kids are tuning into a smarter, wiser Dora and her pals. With that in mind, a live-action Dora movie was announced back in October 2017, said to focus on the character as a young teenager.
The movie found its home at Paramount, and Deadline is now reporting that James Bobin will be at the helm, directing from a script penned by Storks director, Nick Stoller. Dora the Explorer will be open on August 2nd, 2019; perfect for an end of summer family visit to the movies. Bobin’s name will be familiar to many as the director of The Muppets, Muppets Most Wanted, and the Disney flop, Alice Through the Looking Glass, which was widely touted as a magical sequel to Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, but failed to live up to the hype. Similarly, Stoller’s Storks failed to meet its box office predictions, which were continuously revised downwards.
However, neither of these facts are necessarily cause for concern. There is evidence in Storks and the Muppet movies that both Stoller and Bobin have good, sound knowledge of what appeals to children, and certainly that is the target audience for Dora the Explorer. With The Muppets and Muppets Most Wanted, Bobin managed to pull off making the movies appeal across all generations, something that can be tricky to do. Stoller also penned Captain Underpants, a move that has become massively beloved by young kids, as well as serving as a creative consultant on The LEGO Batman Movie. Then there’s the small matter of the producer; none other than Michael Bay, of Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fame, which begs the question – what exactly will Dora be getting up to?
Given the character’s global popularity, and the appeal she holds for both the very young and those who have grown up with her, Dora is likely to sell her own movie regardless of the creative team behind it – because persuasive kids have a knack of convincing parents to sit through anything if it means they’ll get some peace.
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